Main Article Content

Some Early Soyinka Letters

Bernth Lindfors


Among the papers of James Simmons held at the Rose Library of Emory  University are nine letters he received from  Wole Soyinka as well as one  from Soyinka’s British partner, Barbara Dixon, both of whom had been his  classmates at  Leeds University in the mid-1950s. The letters cover Soyinka’s  activities from July 29, 1958, a year after he had graduated  from Leeds, until  January 13, 1960, just after he returned to Nigeria. During this period Soyinka  had worked  as a broadcaster for the BBC, been a play reader for the Royal  Court Theatre, and a teacher in London schools. He also  travelled to Paris  seeking employment as a singer. Much of this time he and Barbara were under  financial pressure,  and their relationship eventually broke up a year after their child had been born. These letters and others like them from  later years in his  life yield vital information for Soyinka’s future biographers.  

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-7474
print ISSN: 0376-8902